Sunday, November 07, 2004


Recipe: Curry Chicken (the Easy-Way-Out Version)

Curry chicken is immensely popular here in Singapore. We have it for lunch, for dinner, at parties, and even at picnics. Due to our melting pot culture, many versions of this dish have evolved. Some popular versions are: Indian, Malay, Nonya, and Chinese. Each has its own following. And of course, every family has their own unique recipe.

Actually, cooking curry is rather easy. The troublesome part is preparing the myriad of spices and ingredients for the curry paste. But I've discovered a wondrous way to simplify this process: Pre-mix curry paste.

Wait, stop there! Don't leave yet! Lend me your ears (or in this case, eyes). Hey, when one has a craving for homemade curry and yet doesn't have time to labour over the curry paste, a good pre-mix is the way to go! And I found mine in
Chng Kee's curry paste. It actually tastes pretty close to my mom's version. But I've added some extra ingredients to improve the taste of the curry: lemongrass for its wonderful, lemony fragrance; onions for extra aroma and sweetness; and chilli powder for more oomph.

Curry Chicken (Julia's Easy-Way-Out Version)

Serves 6

6 fresh chicken legs, skinned and chopped into four pieces each
1 kg fresh chicken wings or mid-joints**
6 large waxy potatoes, quartered
1 jar Chng Kee's Curry Paste
1 red spanish onion, finely chopped
5 stalks of lemongrass, slightly crushed
10 grams of chilli powder
5 gms of curry powder (optional)
light soy sauce
200 ml coconut cream

1. Marinate the chicken lightly with some sugar, light soy sauce, and corn flour.

2. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Saute the onions. When they turn soft, add the chilli paste and fry for a minute.

3. Add the lemongrass stalks, chilli and curry powders, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix well with the paste.

4. Mix the chicken and potatoes with the curry paste. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.

5. Add water till the water level is about two inches above the chicken and potatoes. Cover and simmer gently till the chicken is cooked.

6. Turn the fire down so that the curry hardly simmers. Add the coconut cream. Stir and mix thoroughly.

7. Bring the curry to a boil again, and let it simmer for another 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

*Plain jasmine rice is great with this spicy curry. But I also like it with baguette or crusty bread to mop up the delicious curry gravy.

**We love chicken wings, that's why there's so much of them in this recipe. You can use fewer wings and more chicken legs if you prefer.



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